Taiwan Earthquake: Only One Couple Missing in Singapore Still Missing

SINGAPORE: Nearly two weeks after the violent earthquake that struck Taiwan on April 3, Singaporeans Sim Hwee Kok and Neo Siew Choo are the only people still missing, after aftershocks forced search teams to stop their work over the weekend -end.

Another body, that of a driver, was found on Saturday April 13 along the Shakadang Trail in eastern Hualien County, bringing the death toll from the 7.2 magnitude earthquake to 17.

It was on this trail that the Singaporean couple disappeared, according to the National Fire Agency of Taiwan. They were last seen getting off a shuttle at Shakadang Trail around 7:20 a.m. on April 3, about 40 minutes before the quake.

In agreement with the couple’s family members – three of them arrived in Taiwan more than a week ago – the search was suspended on Sunday due to the risk of aftershocks, landslides and falling rocks. stones. Hualien, near the epicenter of the earthquake, was shaken by more than 800 aftershocks.

Expressing their gratitude to the search and rescue personnel through the Singapore Trade Office in Taipei, the family members said they hoped the search efforts would resume at an appropriate time, while taking into account safety.

“We hope that Hualien can be rebuilt as soon as possible so that more people can experience the beauty of Hualien and feel the warmth of Hualien people,” the family members added.

The Hualien County Fire Bureau said search and rescue efforts would resume once the risks subside.

Taiwanese media also reported that a monk led prayers at the entrance to the trail, in the presence of his family members.

Eight other Singaporeans were among 71 foreigners rescued after being trapped in Hualien. Two Singaporeans were slightly injured, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) announced on April 5.

It was the strongest tremor to hit Taiwan since the 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck the island in 1999. About 2,400 people died in the quake, making it the world’s worst natural disaster. killer in the history of the island.

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